- Retelling our story helps us heal as long as we are telling it to a supportive listener and not having to tell it over and over to different advocates and law enforcement officials. Sometimes it is difficult to talk about what happened to us, but when we are ready to share, every time we tell our story to a supportive person, the bad thing that happened to us becomes a little bit smaller and less threatening. The advantage of journals is that they can sit around and wait for us to be ready to share, and they never judge us or criticize us or offer us unsolicited advice.
- Journaling can help us prepare ourselves for potential legal action. As we remember the story and write it down, we can tell it more coherently to judges, attorneys, therapists, or law enforcement officers.
- Journaling helps us process what happened to us. While we did the best we could under difficult circumstances, journaling can help us sit back and look at what happened with some distance between us and a traumatic episode. With this distance we can work on positive actions we might take next time we are faced with a difficult situation.
- Writing about friends, things, and events that help us (i.e. expressing gratitude) or writing affirmations can reframe what happened in a way that helps us feel better about ourselves. Affirmations are positive statements about one’s self such as, “I am strong and brave, and I keep putting one foot in front of the other. I am getting through this.”
- After a traumatic incident or a conflict with a loved one or a conflict with someone who is trying to help us, writing in a journal helps us calm down from the heat of the moment. This is good for us as it heals us. This is also good for our relationships. It is much better for us to calm down before we interact with other people so we don’t take our anger and pain out on them in ways that may come back to haunt us. We don’t want to wound and drive away people who care for us or who are trying to help us..
For example, write down something constructive to do during future difficulties such as, “I am going to listen more before I speak.”
Listening to others helps them calm down and tends to calm down the situation. Please note that listening does not imply you agree with what the person is saying. It only means that you are behaving in a way that is respectful and not abusive. Listening can defuse conflict or expose abusive behaviors by others.
In her journal writings, Princess argued, " A husband that practices violence and abuse in a marriage becomes dead to that marriage. He has killed himself if he forces her to separate from him to keep herself and her children safe."
Kay the City of Angels Lady/ Clergy Abuse Survivor:
Kay was abused by a Catholic priest at age 5. For many years she lived her life not comprehending how self destructive many of the choices she made were and why she made such poor choices. She did not even remember what caused her problems until she was in her forties, and her daughter turned 5 -- the age at which Kay was abused by a Catholic priest. Then Kay began struggling with extremely disturbing memories.
Despite her raw edges, Kay is a gifted writer. For many years she has used her skills as a writer to eke out a living. She hopes someday that sharing her story will earn her more than just barely enough money to live on. She currently is sharing her life story piece by piece in her blog, along with the stories of other survivors and news and opinion about what is happening in the world of Catholic clergy abuse. Please read her blog but be forewarned that it is not for the faint of heart. Please note anyone who wants a sanitized, easy to read version of clergy abuse, do not read Kay's writings. Her writing is filled with raw details and raw anger and pain. However, Kay is excellent at putting words together and is quite funny when the opportunity to be funny arises, so if you can cope with this, read on.
Kay, the City of Angels Lady/Catholic clergy abuse survivor , remembers being abused by a priest after her daughter turns 5.
For example, I have written down over and over, “I am strong and brave. Sep by step, I am getting through this.”
When I am feeling down, I find Always Look on the Bright Side of Life on You Tube and start singing along.
Except journal about it.
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